I am not a naive person. I knew birth wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience. I mean, more unpleasant for Charlotte, but still. I had invisaged the scene from Men in Black when the very sweaty lady is in labour on the back-seat of the car. I wasn’t really thinking about the bit when her ‘baby’, picks up Will Smith with its tenticles and throws him around. I thought, if that was going to be my fate then I’d rather not know beforehand. An alien baby of mine (like the Guns N Roses song, Sweet Child O Mine, but shitter) was usurely the least of my worries though. Labour is said to be one of, if not the worst pains the human body can encounter. There are many facts and myths on the internet, which I take with a pinch of salt. I have witnessed the birth of both my children and it didn’t look like much fun, but I reckon having your toes cut off with a blunt spoon would be much worse.
When Charlotte did go into labour with our first, I was doing everything the pamphlets were telling me to do:
- Don’t panic. If you’re calm, then your partner will be too – FALSE.
- Make sure you pack a hospital bag and leave it by the door or in the car – I did both. When it was by the door all I did was trip over it every time I walked by. And when it was in the car I was running around the house, in a blind panic trying to find it to put in the car, to go to the hospital.
- Don’t take things your partner says to you to heart, she doesn’t mean them – I like to think of myself as hard-skinned, but some of the name calling really hit me in the feels. All I’ll say is, imagine being captured and tortured by the mafia and multiply it as many times as mathematics will allow.
The wards are also made out to be the happiest and tranquil places you can ever come to visit. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Each delivery room was filled with extremely heavy breathing and the worst, murderous-sounding screams. It was like that scene from The Hostel.
All I can advise is to take it as it comes and prepare for the worst. If you do, then nothing will surprise you… I’m kidding, of course – abandon all hope and pray you make it out alive.